Luke Gardner is a Sea Grant Extension Specialist based out of Moss Landing Marine Laboratories (MLML) located in Monterey Bay. Gardner is also a research faculty member of MLML which is a consortium of seven California State University campuses dedicated to excellence in the marine sciences. Dr. Gardner focuses his efforts on leading and supporting research, extension activities and education in the field of aquaculture and how it insects with coastal California’s environment, economy and citizens.
Gardner’s research interests broadly involve the development of sustainable aquaculture. Specifically, he is interested in working with industry to apply advanced and emerging technologies to help solve issues limiting aquaculture growth. Dr. Gardner primarily uses biotechnology to study physiological systems in marine organisms including reproduction, biomineralization, toxicology and nutrition. Current research interests include using high-throughput sequencing and bio-informatics to develop biomarkers for valuable traits in cultured aquatic organisms. Dr. Gardner is also involved in researching alternative fish-free feeds for the aquaculture sector.
Education and Outreach
Dr. Gardner delivers education and outreach via a number of different modalities. Gardner is an active member of MLML where he teaches graduate student level courses on aquaculture and other disciplines as well as supervising graduate students for thesis research projects. Dr. Gardner is regularly involved with different stakeholders in developing and hosting workshops and forums concerning aquaculture issues. He is also a delegate NOAA-Korea Joint Coordination Panel for Aquaculture Cooperation.
Dr. Gardner received a bachelor’s degree with honors majoring in aquaculture from James Cook University, Queensland, Australia. Following the award of his undergraduate degree Dr. Gardner worked as a fisheries biologist for the Queensland Department of Primary Industries on various aquaculture research projects before beginning a Ph.D. program at Queensland University of Technology. In collaboration with industry his research helped to identify the genetic mechanisms of shell and pearl formation for the south sea pearl oyster. After completing his Ph.D. Gardner accepted a post-doctoral research position at Stanford University investigating molecular aspects of pelagic fishes including reproductive physiology, cardiac physiology, digestion, nutrition, ecology, and ecotoxicology.